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Where EAST meets the Northwest

COMFORTING CURRY. A serving of Thai Red Curry with Lentils and Tofu is seen in Brookline, Massachusetts. The recipe appears in the cookbook Nutritious Delicious. (Daniel J. van Ackere/America’s Test Kitchen via AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V29, #05 (March 4, 2019), page 13.

A Thai-style red curry that highlights lentils and tofu

By America’s Test Kitchen

Thai curries embrace a delicate balance of flavors, textures, temperatures, and colors to produce lively, satisfying meals. Though fresh tasting (thanks to potent herbs and aromatics), restaurant renditions can be high in saturated fat due to hefty amounts of coconut milk, especially when made with red meat.

We wanted to create a Thai-style red curry that wasn’t swimming in coconut milk and featured fiber-rich lentils and tofu instead. We started by cooking the lentils in an aromatic red curry broth.

When the lentils were tender but still slightly al dente and had absorbed most of the liquid, we incorporated a bit of coconut milk to create a rich, fragrant sauce.

To contrast the nutty earthiness of the lentils, we added vibrant red bell pepper slices, snow peas, and cubes of tofu at the very end, simply warming them through to maintain the color and crisp-fresh texture of the vegetables.

A generous handful of fresh basil and a sprinkle of scallions gave the dish a brisk, heady finish. Lentilles du Puy, also called French green lentils, are our first choice, but brown, black, or regular green lentils are fine, too (cooking times will vary). Do not use light coconut milk. You will need a 12" skillet with a tight-fitting lid.

America’s Test Kitchen provided this article to The Associated Press. More recipes, cooking tips, and ingredient and product reviews are available at <>.

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Thai Red Curry with Lentils and Tofu

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 1 hour

14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

2 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 cup French green lentils, picked over and rinsed

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips

4 ounces snow peas, strings removed and halved crosswise

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 scallions, sliced thin

Spread tofu on paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain for 20 minutes. Gently press dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in water, fish sauce, and lentils and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender and about two-thirds of liquid has been absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk until well combined. Add tofu, bell pepper, and snow peas, and increase heat to medium-high. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tofu is warmed through and vegetables are crisp-tender, about two minutes.

Off heat, stir in basil and lime juice. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with scallions. Serve.

Nutrition information per serving: 375 calories (142 calories from fat); 16 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 1,269 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 23 g protein.

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